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Leader of anti-gay Russian vigilante group back in Russia and under arrest

Monday, January 27, 2014
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MOSCOW — The leader of the Russian anti-gay vigilante group “Occupy Pedophilia,” who is alleged to have lured LGBT youth to abusive encounters through fake social media profiles, is back on Russian soil Monday and in custody after being deported by Cuban authorities.

A spokesperson for the Russian Federal Security services told LGBTQ Nation that Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich, also known by his street nickname “Tesak” (or, the “Cleaver”) arrived at the Russian capital’s Sheremetyevo Airport after a direct flight from Havana, and was immediately detained by Russian law enforcement.

Martsinkevich had been formally charged and arrested in absentia on Dec. 13, 2013, by Moscow’s Kuntsevskiy court.

He is being held on charges of committing a crime under Art. 282 of the Russian Criminal Code – incitement of hatred or enmity and human dignity with violence – in connection with videos that his anti-gay Russian group “Occupy Pedophilia” had posted online.

Martsinkevich fled Russia in November to the Ukraine, where he allegedly attacked and physically abused a former contestant of the Ukrainian franchise of the British talent competition, “The X Factor.”

Yuvlena Frolyak, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Sevastopol, told LGBTQ Nation that her office had also issued an arrest warrant based on the criminal complaint filed by the victim.

After Ukrainian officials charged Martsinkevich, he fled to Cuba in late December, where on Jan. 17 he was detained by Cuban law enforcement for violating that country’s immigration laws based in part on the arrest and detain warrant issued by Russian authorities.

Martsinkevich’s identity was confirmed via fingerprints according to the Russian FSB source, who told LGBTQ Nation that the Cubans had also seized passports and other allegedly falsified identity documents not in his name.

At the time of his arrest, a laptop computer, mobile phone, and other equipment belonging to him were seized as evidence.

Martsinkevich is no stranger to the Russian legal system. In July 2007, he was arrested and then sentenced to three years in prison under the same Criminal Code Article 282, part 1, when, as a leader of the far-right extremist group Format18, he had orchestrated the manufacture and sale of videos with scenes depicting the torture of homeless people and Asian guest workers.

The group also held a “mock” hanging of an alleged drug dealer from the former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan.

Martsinkevich was released in December 2010, sometime after which he formed his current group, “Occupy Paedophilia,” which has produced numerous videos on the Russian social media giant VK.com as well as YouTube, documenting harassment and abuse of suspected LGBT youth, and men the group claims were seeking to have sex with minor boys.

Pending the outcome at trial, he faces a possible sentence of 3–5 years imprisonment.

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